Tipping the Velvet | Chicago Reader

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Based on a novel by Sarah Waters, this winning BBC miniseries is surprisingly forthright in its tale of a young lesbian coming of age on the London music hall stage in the 1890s. Born to a coastal family that runs an oyster restaurant, Nan Astley (Rachael Stirling) falls in love with male impersonator Kitty Butler (Keeley Hawes) and progresses from stage-door Annie to dresser to costar to lover before Kitty betrays her for the security of marriage to their manager. Written by Andrew Davis and directed by Geoffrey Sax, this is a smart and nicely turned out television production with a variety of colorful characters and witty performances by Stirling, Hawes, and Anna Chancellor. Approximately 150 min.

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